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New TV show in Bulgaria improves plight of children in institutions

Twelve musicians and celebrities sing to raise funds for the move of children from institutions into family care

Bulgaria, January 2008- Musicians will sing with celebrities on a new Bulgarian TV show “The Magnificent Six”, in order to raise funds to improve the lives of children in an institutional care home.  The aim of the programme is to raise money for the children who are presently in the Mogilino institution; a home in the north of Bulgaria for children with physical and mental disabilities.

The lives of the children in this institution were graphically depicted last year in a television documentary, sparking international concern. It resulted in the Bulgarian government taking action to, eventually, close down this institution.
The channel bTV has chosen UNICEF to be their partner for this new TV Charity Show. During the first episode of “The Magnificent Six” host and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Ani Salich will explain in detail how the raised money is to be used.

Family Type Housing
The funds will be spent for the construction a “small family-type house for children”, where initially a maximum of 15 children from Mogilino will be placed. UNICEF will also use the funds to make sure the children are taken care of by a well-trained staff, so that the children can reach their full potential. Specialised medical and rehabilitation facilities will be purchased as well. The family-type housing will be within close range of health and social services.

Miss Bulgaria sings for the children
During the live shows, six Bulgarian musicians will perform duets together with six famous Bulgarians, among whom will be `Miss Bulgaria`. The audience will then be able to vote on who is their favourite couple, via SMS and via phone calls. All income from the voting will be donated UNICEF to help the children from the Mogilinio institution. A nominated bank account for donations will be announced during the show.

The concept of the format “The Magnificent Six” comes from Andres Ekis, a well known director and film maker from Latvia. The broadcasting of the BBC movie “Bulgaria’s Abandoned Children” triggered bTV to decide that Ekis` format for a fundraising TV show would be the best format to involve the whole Bulgarian community in supporting the children of Mogilino.

Through this show, bTV is supporting the action plan, developed by The Agency for Social Assistance, for the step-by-step closure of Mogilino institution. This involves finding a proper new place to live for the children. The plan is part of the large-scale project that wants to make sure that children in Bulgarian institutions are placed in a family-type living environment.

UNICEF Bulgaria website



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